Large contemporary art museums are great places to view and learn about art and artists. But don’t forget about the art museums and galleries hosted at a college or university. These exhibit spaces are more likely to expand your interest on a particular idea or social issue -- providing new information and insight during your visit.
University and college art museums and galleries are also valuable community assets. Many provide exhibition space for newer or lesser-known artistic voices, often alongside more established artists. These art spaces are often recognized as inviting communal places -- places to discuss and share opinions on topics that an exhibit may put forth to the viewing public.
If you want to boosts your own personal creativity, simply visit a university or college art gallery opening. Just being around artworks on display and in the company of creative people in general will re-energize your creative juices.
And of course, seeing art in person is quite different than seeing it on the pages of a book or on a computer screen. Nothing compares to seeing a work of art with your own eyes. The sort of personal memories that are created by art museum and gallery visits never expire and will be looked back upon with a sense of elation. For that reason alone, you should consider a visit to your local university or college and explore the art spaces they provide.
There is usually something going on or on display – just pull up the web page of a local institution (or hop on their Facebook page) and see what they have to offer:
Anderson Gallery (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond)
Fine Arts Galleries (George Mason University)
The Fralin Museum of Art (U of Virginia, Charlottesville)
Hampton University Museum (Hampton)
Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art (University of Richmond)
Lora Robins Gallery of Design by Nature (University of Richmond)
Maier Museum of Art (Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg)
Modlin Center for the Arts (University of Richmond)
Muscarelle Museum of Art (College of William & Mary)
Radford University Art Museum (Radford)
Sweet Briar College Art Gallery (Sweet Briar)